Category Archives: Hackaday Columns

Radio Apocalypse: The Emergency Broadcast System

Some sounds are capable of evoking instant terror. It might be the shriek of a mountain lion, or a sudden clap of thunder. Whatever your trigger sound, it instantly stimulates something deep in the lizard brain that says: get ready, danger is at hand.

For my part, you can’t get much scarier than the instantly recognizable two-tone alert signal (audio link warning) from the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS). For anyone who grew up watching TV in the 60s and 70s in the US, it was something you heard on at least a weekly basis, with that awful tone followed by …read more

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Posted in conelrad, EAS, EBS, emergency alert system, Emergency Broadcast System, fcc, Hackaday Columns, history, Original Art, public alert system | Leave a comment

Friday Hack Chat: High Speed Data Acquisition

For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re going to be talking all about High-Speed Data Acquisition. If you’ve ever needed to shove voltages, currents, logic signals, temperature, pressure, or sound into a computer, you’ve used a DAQ. If you’ve ever needed to acquire a signal at a very high speed, you’ve probably paid a lot of money for that piece of equipment.

Our guest for this week’s Hack Chat will be [Kumar Abhishek], engineering student, Hackaday Prize finalist, and creator of the very, very cool Beaglelogic, a logic analyzer for the BeagleBone. The interesting bit about the Beaglelogic is its utilization …read more

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Posted in beaglebone, BeagleLogic, DAQ, data acquisition, Hack Chat, Hackaday Columns | Leave a comment

Visual 3D Print Finishing Guide

With 3D printers now dropping to record low prices, more and more people are getting on the additive manufacturing bandwagon. As a long time believer in consumer-level desktop 3D printing, this is a very exciting time for me; the creativity coming out of places like Thingiverse or the 3D printing communities on Reddit is absolutely incredible. But the realist in me knows that despite what slick promotional material from the manufacturers may lead you to believe, these aren’t Star Trek-level replicators. What comes out of these machines is often riddled with imperfections (from small to soul crushing), and can …read more

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Posted in 3d printed, 3d Printer hacks, cosplay, epoxy, filler, Hackaday Columns, how-to, props, sanding | Leave a comment

Maria Goeppert-Mayer: The Other Nobel Prize Winner

Maria Goeppert-Mayer was one of only two women to win the Nobel prize for physics thus far, the other being Marie Curie. And yet her name isn’t anywhere near as well known as Marie Curie’s. She also worked on the Manhattan Project and spent time during her long career with Enrico Fermi, Max Born, Edward Teller, and many other physics luminaries.

She was “other” in another way too. She followed her husband from university to university, and due to prevailing rules against hiring both husband and wife, often had to take a non-faculty position, sometimes even with no salary. Yet …read more

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Posted in Hackaday Columns, history, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Nobel, nobel prize winners, Original Art, physics, quantum physics | Leave a comment

The Clutter Manifesto

My basement workshop is so crammed full of stuff I literally can’t use it. My workbench, a sturdy hardwood library table, is covered in junk to the point that I couldn’t find a square foot that didn’t have two layers of detritus on it — the top layer is big things like old projects that no longer work, boxes of stuff, fragile but light things perched on top. Underneath is the magma of bent resistors, snippets of LED strip, #4 screws, mystery fasteners I’ll never use, purple circuit boards from old versions of projects, and a surprising number of SparkFun …read more

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Posted in cleanliness, clutter, disorganization, Hackaday Columns, mess, Original Art, tool hacks, workshop | Leave a comment

Linux Fu: System Administration Made Easier

Linux can have a somewhat split personality. If you use it as a desktop OS, it has a lot of GUI tools, although sometimes you still need to access the command line. If you use it as a headless server, though, you probably ought to know your way around the command line pretty well. This is especially true if you don’t want to litter up your hard drive (and CPU) with X servers and other peculiarities of the graphical user interface.

Personally, I like the command line, but I am realistic enough to know that not everyone shares that feeling. …read more

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Posted in cockpit, Hackaday Columns, linux, Linux Fu, linux hacks, system administration, usermin, webmin | Leave a comment

Live Streams and Hack Chat From The Hackaday Superconference

Want to experience the Hackaday Superconference from the comfort of your own workshop? Just follow us on YouTube or on Facebook as two days of live streaming talks begin this Saturday morning.

This weekend is the Hackaday Superconference, the greatest hardware conference on Earth. While the Superconference is the most amazing gatherings of engineers and engineering enthusiasts, we realize that not everyone can make it out to our ultimate hardware conference. This year, we’re doing something special for everyone who can’t make it out — we’re opening up live streams and live chat to those who can’t attend. This is …read more

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Posted in 2017 Hackaday Superconference, chat, cons, Hackaday Columns, livestream, Supercon, ultimate hardware conference | Leave a comment

Minecraft and Forge: Try This Amazing Way to Visualize Logic

I’ve got virtual circuits on the mind lately. There are a myriad of tools out there that I could pick up to satisfy this compulsion. But the one I’m reaching for is Minecraft. I know what you’re thinking… a lot of people think Minecraft is getting long in the tooth. But chances are you never tried some of the really incredible things Minecraft can do when it comes to understanding logic structures. This goes way beyond simple circuits and easily hops back and forth over the divide between hardware logic and software logic.

Traditional Circuit Simulation

Circuit simulation is a …read more

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Posted in Computer Hacks, electronics, Hackaday Columns, minecraft, SPICE, visualization | Leave a comment

Why You Shouldn’t Quite Forget The Moving Coil Multimeter

If you were to ask a random Hackaday reader what their most fundamental piece of electronic test equipment was, it’s likely that they would respond with “multimeter”. If you asked them to produce it, out would come a familiar item, a handheld brick with a 7-segment LCD at the top, a chunky rotary selector switch, and a pair of test probes. They can be had with varying quality and features for anything from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, though they will nearly all share the same basic set of capabilities. Voltage in both AC and DC, DC …read more

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Posted in analog multimeter, Hackaday Columns, multimeter, review, reviews, test equipment, tool hacks | Leave a comment

Peggy Whitson, Space Scientist

When astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson returned from space earlier this year, it was a triumphant conclusion to a lifelong career as a scientist, explorer, and leader. Whitson is a biochemist who became one of the most experienced and distinguished astronauts ever to serve. She’s got more time logged in space than any other American. There’s a reason that she’s been called the Space Ninja.

Education and Early Life

Some people find their vocation late in life, but Peggy Whitson figured it out in her senior year of high school. It was 1979 and NASA had just accepted its first class …read more

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Posted in astronaut, biochemistry, Hackaday Columns, nasa, space | Leave a comment